My Two Cents
Friday, 29 January 2016 13:54

Blu-ray & UHD News – More on Napoleon, plus Godfather Saga, new Twilight/Kino, Vice on HBO & more

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[Editor’s Note: Be sure to follow us on Twitter @thedigitalbits @BillHuntBits and on Facebook here and here.]

We have a quick update on the BFI’s new restoration and Blu-ray of Napoleon (1927). It seems that Francis Ford Coppola and former Bits contributor and film preservationist Robert A. Harris own the worldwide theatrical rights to Napoleon outside the U.K. and France, and are working on their own restoration effort. Lou Lumenick, the film editor for The New York Post, contacted Harris about the project and received this reply: [Read on here…]

“The two are not connected. We donated the UK rights to the BFI and Photoplay (Kevin Brownlow and Patrick Stansbury) back in the early days of the project, in recognition of the work they had done over the years.

Zoetrope/Film Preserve [Coppola and Harris’ companies] own all world rights with the exception of the UK and France, which was donated to the Cinematheque by Claude Lelouch.

A few years ago, the Cinematheque did an inventory of Napoleon elements, many unseen since 1971, and discovered portions of the original camera negative, as well as other missing elements.

While we applaud the BFI’s latest efforts, we have been working with the Cinematheque toward the preparation of a more cohesive, and higher quality presentation, based upon Abel’s Apollo version of the film.

We anticipate to be complete in 2017.”

So it seems certain that the BFI’s Blu-ray, due to be released later this year, will be a Region B locked title, however the better Coppola/Harris restoration will be completed next year and should be released on Blu-ray then, both here in the States and elsewhere around the world. Thanks to the good Dr. Jahnke for bringing this to my attention.

Speaking of Coppola, I wanted to comment on the recent HBO broadcast of The Godfather Saga uncut and in HD. Industry sources tell me that it’s unlikely this version of the combined The Godfather and The Godfather, Part II will be released on disc. Director Francis Ford Coppola apparently just doesn’t want it to happen. So if you want it, the HBO broadcast may be your best chance to record it for long-term keeping. It’s not impossible there could be a home video release at some point, but I’m told it’s pretty unlikely to happen anytime soon.

In announcement news today, Twilight Time has revealed they’re working on the Blu-ray release of Richard Fleischer’s 10 Rillington Place (1971) from a new 4K Sony Pictures restoration. Look for that on 3/15. Also coming that day are Anatole Litvak’s Anastasia (1956), Robert Rossen’s Alexander the Great (1956), Otto Preminger’s Exodus (1960), and Ralph Nelson’s Lilies of the Field (1963).

Meanwhile, Kino Lorber has set the MGM animated Tijuana Toads (1969-1972 – 17 cartoons) and Roland and Rattfink (1968-1971 – 17 cartoons) for Blu-ray and DVD release on 6/28. They’ve also revealed that they’re working on Blu-ray and DVD releases of Beware! The Blob (1972 – aka Son of the Blob), Fuzz (1972), and Absolution (1978).

And in a bit of 4K UHD Blu-ray news this afternoon, is showing a UHD combo release of Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 on the format on 3/17, day and date with regular the Blu-ray and DVD. It’s not officially announced yet, however, nor is it up on We expect that to change soon.

Also, Sony has confirmed that they’re releasing The 5th Wave in 4K UHD in addition to Blu-ray, DVD, and digital. Street date is TBA for all.

In other news today, there’s an Amazon deal some of you may be interested in: If you purchase one of a handful of 20th Century Fox science fiction Blu-rays from (see the available titles here) you get a $5 off coupon you can use on The Martian on Blu-ray or Blu-ray 3D. Click here for details.

Finally today, the fourth season of Vice begins on HBO this Sunday (click here for a preview). If you haven’t seen the show yet, let me tell you, Vice is doing the best TV journalism anywhere these days, covering stories none of the other major news organizations here in the States seem interested in chasing – stuff that actually matters in some of the darkest and most dangerous corners of the world – and with the only agenda being to get at the reality of what’s actually going on and why. There’s a catch-up marathon of the first three seasons happening on Sunday as well. Definitely give it a look if you think you might be interested. The series is worth your time.

All right, here’s a little more new Blu-ray cover artwork (with Amazon pre-order links if available)...

Bridge of Spies (Blu-ray Disc)    SPECTRE (Blu-ray Disc)    13 Hours (Blu-ray Disc)

The Gallant Hours (Blu-ray Disc)    Ulee's Gold (Blu-ray Disc)    Sunshine Superman (Blu-ray Disc)

Have a great weekend!

Bill Hunt (@BillHuntBits)


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